The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Ohio State Alumni Awards

The alumni association's awards program celebrates more than 50 years of excellence by honoring alumni and others who have brought extraordinary credit to Ohio State.

2017 Nominations are now closed. 2018 Alumni Award Nominations will open on February 1, 2018.

Alumni Medalist Award
Faye Wattleton, New York (BS Nursing, 1964)

Dan L. Heinlen Award
Steven W. Jemison, Cincinnati, Ohio (JD, 1975)

Josephine Sitterle Failer Award
Linda C. Stone, Columbus, Ohio (Doctor of Medicine, 1979)

Professional Achievement Award
Ron O'Brien, Islamorada, Florida (BS Education, 1959; MA Physical Education, 1961; PhD Physical Education, 1967)
Dale A. Seiberling, Granville, Ohio (BS Dairy Technology, 1950; MS Dairy Technology, 1966)

William Oxley Thompson Alumni Award
Chukwuemeka N. Onyejekwe, Jersey City, New Jersey (BA Political Science, 2002)
David E. Vollman, St. Louis, Missouri (BS Chemistry, 2001; MBA, 2006; Doctor of Medicine, 2006)

Ralph Davenport Mershon Award
John L. Melvin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (BS Biological Sciences, 1955; Doctor of Medicine, 1960; Master of Medical Sciences, 1966)
Jeffrey A. Myers, Groveport, Ohio (BS Physiological Optics, 1982; Doctor of Optometry 1984)

Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award
Stephen P. Blythe, Laguna Hills, California (BS Accounting, 1980)
Ann Thomas-McDonald, Granville, Ohio (BA Psychology, 1988)

E. Gordon Gee Spirit of Ohio State Award
Aaron Craft, Findlay, Ohio (BS Nutrition, 2014)


Click here to view full bios on the 2014 recipients.

Alumni Medalist Award
Edward H. Rensi, Downers Grove, Ill. (BS Industrial Technology Education, 1990)

Dan L. Heinlen Award
Barbara K. Fergus, Dublin, Ohio (BS Business Administration, 1957)

Josephine Sitterle Failer Award
David S. Wilson, New York (BA Economics, 1985)

Professional Achievement Award
Shyama P. Chakroborty, Folsom, Calif. (MS Mechanical Engineering, 1975)
Robert Heath, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (BA Speech, 1966)

William Oxley Thompson Alumni Award
Rosa M. Ailabouni, Arlington, Va. (BA Political Science and International Studies, 2001, BA French, 2001)
Erika Kimble, Medina, Ohio (BS Nursing, 2003, MA Journalism Communication, 2007, MS Nursing, 2007)
Neal S. Patel, Powell, Ohio (BS Molecular Genetics, 2002, DDS Dentistry, 2006)

Ralph Davenport Mershon Award
Joseph T. Barr, Dublin, Ohio (OD Optometry, 1977, M.S. Physiological Optics, 1979)
Carol W. Kennedy Jones, Powell, Ohio (BS Nursing, 1967, M.S. Nursing, 1970, PhD Special Services Education, 1979)

Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award
James John Caronis, Worthington, Ohio (BS Business Administration, 1956)
Sandra C. Slomin, Delray Beach, Fla. (BS Education, 1971)

E. Gordon Gee Spirit of Ohio State Award
Ty Tucker and the Ohio State men’s tennis teams 2003-2013

Alumni Medalist Award
Gerald E. Lowther, McCormick, S.C. (BS Optometry, 1966; Doctor of Optometry, 1967; MS Optometry, 1969; PhD Physiological Optics, 1972)

Dan L. Heinlen Award
William P. Blair, III, Canton, Ohio (BA Political Science, 1964; MA Political Science, 1967; Juris Doctor 1970)

Josephine Sitterle Failer Award
James D. Miller, New Albany, Ohio (BA Communication,1983)

Professional Achievement Award
Matthew J. Desch, McLean, Va. (BS Computer & Information Science, 1980)
Rattan Lal, Columbus, Ohio (PhD Agronomy, 1968)
Subodh G. Mhaisalkar, Singapore (MS Ceramic Engineering, 1987; PhD Ceramic Engineering, 1990)

William Oxley Thompson Alumni Award
Huda M. Ahmed, Gahanna, Ohio (BS Finance, 2004; Juris Doctor, 2007; Master of Business Administration, 2008)
Danielle M. Smith, Columbus (BS Social Work, 2008; Master of Social Work, 2010; MA Public Administration, 2010)

Ralph Davenport Mershon Award
L.H. Newcomb, Hilliard, Ohio (PhD Agricultural Education, 1973)
Calvin D. Wible, Naples, Fla. (BS Business Administration, 1949; Master of Business Administration, 1950)

Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award
Charles W. Gehring, Worthington, Ohio (B.S. Accounting, 1978)
David Pilgrim, Big Rapids, Mich. (MA Sociology, 1982; PhD Sociology, 1984)

E. Gordon Gee Spirit of Ohio State Award
Jon R. Woods, Columbus

Alumni Medalist Award
Vice Admiral Thomas R. Wilson, US Navy (Retired), Williamsburg, Va. (B.S. Agricultural Economics, 1968)

Heinlen Award
Edwin M. Cooperman, Boca Raton, Fla. (Juris Doctor, 1967)

Failer Award
James A. Terranova, Millbrae, Calif. (B.S. Finance, 1975)

Professional Achievement Award
Gary G. Koch, Chapel Hill, N.C. (BS Mathematics, 1962; MS Industrial Engineering, 1963)
Michael D. Maves, Chicago, Ill. (Doctor of Medicine, 1973)

Thompson Alumni Award
Lauree Handlon, Columbus (BS Health Information Management & Systems, 2000; MS Allied Medical Professions, 2008)
Heather Link, Columbus (BS Pharmaceutical Science, 2003; MS Pharmacy, 2005)

Mershon Award
Kenneth M. Clemens, Lima (Doctor of Dental Surgery, 1954)
Jane Foulser Rector, Azle, Tex. (BS Occupational Therapy, 1957)

Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award
Shirley Brooks-Jones, Dublin, Ohio (BA English, 1994)
Suzanne K. Richards, Columbus (Juris Doctor, 1974)

E. Gordon Gee Spirit of Ohio State Award
2011 Ohio State men's volleyball team, National Champions


Ralph Davenport Mershon Award for service to Ohio State

The Mershon Award is presented to alumni who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to The Ohio State University. No more than three individuals will be selected in any one year for this award.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • Leadership and service to The Ohio State University
  • Membership in the Alumni Association
  • Service to the Alumni Association

William Oxley Thompson Award for early career achievement

The Thompson Alumni Award for early career achievement is presented to young alumni who have demonstrated distinctive achievement in a career, civic involvement or both. Nominees must not reach their 36th birthday during the year in which the award is to be given. No more than three individuals will be selected in any one year for this award.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • Career achievements
  • Civic involvement
  • Age 35 or younger

Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award for community service

The Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award is presented to alumni who have distinguished themselves in service to humanity and who have best exemplified the university's motto, "Education for Citizenship," by having performed significant voluntary service to their community beyond the call of business or professional duty. No more than three individuals will be selected in any one year for this award.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • Service to humanity
  • Service to community

Archie M. Griffin Professional Achievement Award for career achievement

The Archie M. Griffin Professional Achievement Award is presented to alumni who have superb records of distinguished career accomplishments and who have made outstanding contributions to their professions. No more than three individuals will be selected in any one year for this award.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • Career accomplishments
  • Professional impact
  • Significant publications/research (primary authorship)-no more than five, please
  • Community service

Dan L. Heinlen Award for university advocacy

The Heinlen Award for university advocacy is presented to those who have realized outstanding achievements in advocating the interests of the university with one or more of its important publics. It recognizes such achievement in activities ranging from student and faculty recruitment to advocacy with elected officials and opinion leaders on behalf of Ohio State. No more than one individual will be selected in any one year for this award.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • Outstanding advocacy for The Ohio State University with key constituent groups, for example:
  • Elected officials
  • University leadership/administration
  • Recruitment of faculty and/or students

Josephine Sitterle Failer Award for volunteer service to students

The Failer Award for volunteer service to students is presented to those whose voluntary personal involvement has enhanced the quality of student life at the university. No more than three individuals will be selected in any one year for this award.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • Service to students
  • Service to Ohio State
  • If nominees are current university employees, you must demonstrate that they have gone above and beyond their assigned job duties.

Alumni Medalist Award for national or international career development

The Alumni Medalist Award for national or international career achievement is the single highest honor accorded by The Ohio State University Alumni Association, Inc. It is presented to alumni who have gained national or international distinction as outstanding exponents of a chosen field or profession and who have brought extraordinary credit to the university and significant benefit to humankind. Only one award may be presented annually, and the Medalist may be selected from among nominees in this or any other award category. No more than one individual will be selected per year. Current members of the board of directors of The Ohio State University Alumni Association are not eligible for this award.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • Career achievements
  • Service to humanity
  • Service to the community
  • National or international distinction
  • Professional impact
  • Membership in the Alumni Association
  • Participation in alumni activities

Diversity Champion Award (new, 2015)

The award honors alumni who have made a significant and sustained contribution that fosters diversity and inclusion in their broader community and/or organization; recognizing and respecting the value of individual differences such as race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran or military service status, gender identity, economic status, political belief, marital status or social background. Successful nominees should exhibit one or more of the criteria below:

  • Cultivates and promotes diverse initiatives that establish and foster a more inclusive and equitable community
  • Demonstrates outstanding efforts to promote an environment free from bias and discrimination
  • Works beyond their organization to advance the cause of diversity through outreach efforts
  • Has demonstrated broad and deep impact on increasing the inclusivity of their communities
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